It's hard to save calories during Thanksgiving, especially when your dining room table is full of goodies. Make your indulgences work for you with still-delicious healthy versions of highly caloric desserts. Read on for some of our favorite healthier Thanksgiving desserts, from vegan pies to lower-fat cookies!
Whether you know them as Samoas or Caramel deLites, these once-a-year treats are off limits if you're following a vegan diet. The original recipe also contain hydrogenated oil, which isn't something anyone really wants in a cookie. If you can't shake the desire for these chewy, coconut-y gems, here's an egg- and dairy-free alternative that's also trans-fat free.
The serving size is one cookie for this recipe, which is comparable in weight to the two-cookie serving of the real Girl Scout version. You end up saving 36 calories, one gram of fat, 5.5 carbs, and 2.5 grams of sugar. They taste amazingly like the actual Samoas but are thicker and chewier, and I actually prefer these over the boxed originals.
1/2 cup Earth Balance Original
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vanilla soy milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat silicone mats.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla extract, and soy milk until creamy. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Knead the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until it's about one-quarter inch thick. Using a circular cookie cutter or glass, cut out cookies and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter or the top from a water bottle to make the little circle inside.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the edges. Allow them to cool completely on a rack.
- Now for the caramel topping. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the sugar, stirring constantly. The sugar will melt, then start to caramelize. Right when the caramel starts to smoke, add the Earth Balance and the soy milk, whisking to combine.
- Continue to cook until slightly thickened, and you can see the bottom of the pan when you slide your spatula across the bottom.
- Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla and the coconut.
- Once it's cool, spread the mixture evenly on the shortbread cookies. Place the cookies in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips (see instructions here). Dip the shortbread bases in the chocolate. Place the cookies chocolate side down on the parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to firm up. Then use a toothpick to make the signature chocolate lines across the tops of the cookies.
Makes 30 cookies. Below is the nutritional information for one cookie.Source: Calorie Count
- Desserts, Cookies
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